Meet Valerie McMurray: Founder of Soleil Toujours

Valerie McMurray created Soleil Toujours with the uncompromising belief that we can have it all - exceptional sun protection that rejuvenates and replenishes. Made from the world's safest and most sought after naturally sourced and organic ingredients, Soleil leaves your skin protected, radiant and healthy.

Soleil Toujours' mineral-based and organic formulas provide the most effective protection from UVA and UVB rays, rejuvenating and repairing with powerful anti-oxidant and anti-aging ingredients. We spoke to Valerie to understand her drive to create Soleil Toujours and what challenges she's faced along the way.

So, let’s take it back to the beginning – we’d love to know about your background and the journey that led you to create Soleil Toujours.

After college, I had a career in finance for 18 years prior to starting my company that would eventually become Soleil Toujours. Starting in my early 30’s, I launched multiple businesses in completely random sectors prior to sunscreen - sunscreen is also a super random departure from finance.
In all cases, I sought to find a better solution to what existed in the market at the time. I have always followed my passions no matter how far from my comfort zone. I started a swim coverup line in 2008 after not being able to find a coverup that I liked. That eventually morphed into sun care as I wanted to build a lifestyle brand that revolved around the sun.
I was pregnant with my third child when I was doing my research on sunscreen and I discovered so many flaws and also so many opportunities to make the category so much better. I see sunscreen as a category that can and will be transformed into one that bridges the gap between suncare, skincare, and also color.
Protecting our skin from environmental stressors is the foundation for healthy skin and that is the starting point for products that provide a holistic and all-encompassing purpose that streamlines our daily skincare routine.

Your brand has gone through a lot of changes since you started it… What has been the biggest challenge that you have faced as a brand?
I’ve experienced so many setbacks, actually, too many to list. If pressed to name the biggest, I’d say the two legal assaults I received from Estee Lauder and the State of California - both of which forced me to change the name of my brand.

That sounds like an incredibly tough experience. Through the ups and downs, what inspires you and motivates you?
I want to create products that I know change the face of sunscreen and break down the barriers that separate the category from what the market is innovating in the realms of skincare and color. Why can’t we have it all? We should and that’s what motivates me.

Speaking of having it all, your brand is also environmentally conscious. What does sustainability mean to you as a brand?
Sustainability should be a multi-faceted initiative. Packaging, product, how we operate daily, what we are doing to support others who are working to make their idea of sustainability important.

For those who are working to make sustainability important, what would be your top tips to help them?
Take note of how you live. How does your lifestyle impact the environment? What can you change in your lifestyle to benefit our environment? How can you support others who are working to live sustainably in different ways than you are?

Great advice! So, what are you most excited to work on over the next few months?
I want to launch products that don’t currently exist in the market, but with UV and environmental protection at the core of each product.

It’s clear that you’re always thinking of ways to push your brand into the future. For those who are thinking about setting up their own company or starting a new project, what advice would you give them?
Don’t quit your day job.

And finally, what do you look for when finding the perfect gift?
Know the person you’re gifting and think outside of the box on what would really surprise them and make them happy.

Shop Soleil Toujours at THE FIND.

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